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 Different Paths (Surah An-Nahl 16:9)

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PostSubject: Different Paths (Surah An-Nahl 16:9)   Sat Nov 02, 2013 7:30 am

As Salamu Alaikum 







Explanation of the Different Religious Paths

When Allah mentioned the animals which may be used for the purpose of physical journeys, He also referred to the moral, religious routes that people may follow. Often in the Qur'an there is a shift from physical or tangible things to beneficial spiritual and religious matters, as when Allah says,

And take a provision (with you) for the journey, but the best provision is Taqwa (piety, righteousness.[2:197]   And,

O Children of Adam! We have granted clothing for you to cover yourselves, as well as for adornment; but the raiment of righteousness, that is better. [7:26]   Since Allah mentioned cattle and other such animals in this Surah, all of which are ridden or can be used in any way necessary, carrying people's necessities for them to distant places and on difficult journeys - then He mentions the ways which people follow to try to reach Him, and explains that the right way is the one that does reach Him. He says:

And it is up to Allah to show the right way. This is like the Ayat,

And verily, this is My straight path, so follow it, and do not follow the (other) paths, for they will separate you away from His path. [6:153] and,

(Allah) said: "This is the way which will lead straight to Me.'' (15:41)

And it is up to Allah to show the right way.  Mujahid said: "The true way is up to Allah.''

And it is up to Allah to show the right way . Al-`Awfi said that Ibn `Abbas said: "It is up to Allah to clarify, to explain the guidance and misguidance.'' This was also reported by `Ali bin Abi Talhah, and was also the opinion of Qatadah and Ad-Dahhak. Hence Allah said:

But there are ways that stray.  meaning they deviate from the truth. Ibn `Abbas and others said: "These are the different ways,'' and various opinions and whims, such as Judaism, Christianity and Zoroastrianism. Ibn Mas`ud recited it as "But among you are those who stray. '' Then Allah tells us that all of that happens by His will and decree. He says:

And had He willed, He would have guided you all. And Allah says:

If your Lord had willed, then all who are in the earth would have believed.  [10:99]

And if your Lord had so willed, He could surely, have made humanity one Ummah, but they will not stop disagreeing. Except those for whom your Lord has granted mercy. And it is for this that He did create them; and the Word of your Lord has been fulfilled (i.e. His saying): "Surely, I shall fill Hell with Jinn and men all together.'' (11:118-119).


Reference: Tafsir ibn Kathir (abridged) English version.


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